Comment : Last fall I took this picture (below). That’s the communications pad at the corner of Fairview Blvd. and Fairview Circle in Breckenridge, Colorado. The phone company stuff is tilted; the Comcast stuff is on the ground to the left and in front. I called Comcast … got lost in phone tree, gave up. I went bicycling in Vermont; got home to snow and a slowing Internet service … so, I went to see Comcast and took along a copy of the picture. Got a service number on Veterans’ Day. Went back on December 10 and was told the service record said, “Field work completed.” Found out that the pad belonged to CenturyLink and Comcast didn’t touch it (snow on the ground). Asked lovely office manager in Silverthorne for a service call to check internet service. She told me that would cost $70 to maybe fix a problem not of my creation … but! There’s a solution … add service insurance for $4.99/month for three months and if the problem is mine, no problem. Cancel the
insurance after three month of paying; if cancelled earlier, pay the $70. Sounds good. A couple of days later after kind of answering three recorded reminder calls and three reminder emails, a service technician arrived on time … I was out (hiding maybe at a claimed earlier appointment -- yep, the barber) but Rich charmed the Kid, upgraded the cable modem and said to put it somewhere not in a wire drawer (our bad! – you’d think we’d know better, but not). Looks like the insurance is a good idea.
So, upshot: Good service. Just thought I’d go on record and note I didn’t have to call Brian, or Ralph or Neil.
Stuff is all still on the ground … now under the snow. Tried CenturyLink but was told since I didn’t have service from them to never mind.
• A clarification: As noted in last week’s rant, STELAR stands for Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 Reauthorization for five more years; with a couple of arcane changes. Basically the Acts allow DBS providers to retransmit the signals of local broadcast stations without having to gain retransmission consent to “unserved households.” The new Act also extends a DBS compulsory copyright license for distant signals. Congress likes to tweak this every five years and this year’s extension comes just a couple of weeks before the rights would have expired at midnight on December 31. Happy New Year to ya’ll, too. Distribution is an often-overlooked aspect of some media business plans. Some examples are in this week’s new partial chapter of my book-in-progress, The Revolutionary Evolution of the Media.
• Careful what you wish for: 2015 is likely to bring a new Telecommunications Act from House Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) and Tech Subcommittee Chair Greg Walden (R-OR); retransmission reform from Senator John Thune (R-SD) and maybe a renewed effort on Local Choice; no more cable cards because of STELAR’s passing; and more than one merger to approve or block. Time for careful New Years’ Resolutions!
“The Revolutionary Evolution of the Media” Continues
This is a book in progress … how a changing world has made media what it is today … Or, from a grunt to too much connectivity.
In an almost 50-year career writing and reporting on media, Paul S. Maxwell started and/or ran some 45-plus publications ranging from CATV Newsweekly to Colorado Magazine to CableVision to Multichannel News to CableFAX and The BRIDGE Suite of daily newsletters and research publications. In between publishing stints, Maxwell served as an advisor and/or consultant to a number of major media companies and media start-ups including running a unit of MCI and managing a partnership of TCI and McGraw-Hill.
Send any and all criticisms, suggestions, rants, threats, corrections, etc. to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He has a new Web site coming soon!
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